Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph got rid of that cumbersome knee brace, and now figures he’s ready to shed something else.

The process of simply fitting in with the Grizzlies is over if Randolph has his way.

“I feel good,” Randolph said. “I’m there.”

Coach Lionel Hollins went into the Grizzlies’ 88-76 win over the Orlando Magic in the teams’ regular-season finale intending to judge Randolph’s effectiveness. Hollins reinserted Randolph into the starting lineup, and the veteran power forward played as though he had something to prove.

The verdict? Randolph looked inspired and lively offensively and on the boards, and a bit challenged defensively. But he expects to start when the Griz host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday for the start of their first-round playoff series.

If that happens — and Hollins remains noncommittal — then the expectation is for Randolph to be the consistent force he was against Orlando.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of theĀ Memphis Commercial Appeal